Pep Guardiola has admitted Manchester City were unable to control Ivan Toney, whose two goals gave Brentford victory over the champions less than 48 hours after he missed the cut for Gareth Southgate’s England World Cup squad.
City’s setback was their first in the Premier League at home since February, ending a run of 20 games, and leaves Guardiola’s side in second place with 32 points before the break for Qatar.
“The best team won, Toney is exceptional for them,” he said. “We had many problems. We couldn’t press high because we weren’t allowed to, long balls from goalie to striker and in this process we couldn’t win any ball because when Toney throws the ball he creates problems.
“He is very good, he is capable of winning [duels] With all the center backs we couldn’t control that aspect. Every time a centre-back jumps he suffers”.
Toney, who has 10 league goals this season, was asked if he would miss the World Cup. “It’s disappointing but listen, I know what I’m capable of and I won’t let it get me down. I keep going and I keep doing well for Brentford.”
The 26-year-old insisted that Southgate’s decision did not affect his approach to the game. “The motivation is the guys in the locker room and the fans, as you can see,” he said.
A delighted Thomas Frank said: “He should have scored five goals, he had five good chances: one in [the] first half, then scored, then missed one from an angle, scored a goal, then missed the last. Honestly, what a player.
“Gareth chose the team he believes in, but I hope he thinks of Iván if there is an injury. He showed it today against the best team in the world. Of course he and I think he should be there, but we’re looking from our side and Gareth from the other side and we don’t know who’s right.
“Iván has a very good family around him. I have known him for so long that I have no doubt that he will come back stronger. I showed my empathy [to him].”
Frank described the Brentford victory as the best in their history. “Perhaps this is the best individual result. It’s huge. For the fans, I’m so happy that we’ve created another incredibly magical moment for them. The costumes were fantastic sets.
“We are the bus stop in Hounslow [as Bees fans sing] against the best team in the world.